Hitler and the NAZIs had a range of options as to what to do with the Jews. Mass murder or the Final Solution was not the option that had been decided upon as late as the onset of World War II. The decession to murder European Jews was a decession that was arrived at over time. There were a range of other options. One important factor to be considered is that even though NAZI officials, even high NAZI officials, were considering various options does not mean that they were options that Hitler was willing to consuder. 1) An option that was considered was deportation. As late as mid-1940, NAZI officials were toying with various schemes. One scheme was deporting all European Jews to Madagascar. It was, however, soon discarded as being completely impractical. About the same time, as planning for Barbarossa began, deporting Jews to Siberia emerged as a more practical alternative. 2) Himiler is known to have considered mass sterilization. SS doctors were ordered to develop inexpessive methods of mass sterilizations. 3) NAZI officials were developing plans to use Jews as a slave labor force to support the war effort. Here plans varied and included the murder of non-productive Jews such as children and the elderly. This is alternative that Ghetto Jews clung to and tried their best to make themselves useful to the NAZIs. Many NAZIs supported this alernative, primarily because of the opportunities it afforded for graft and corruption. Ultimately these options were discarded for simple murder. It is notable that most of the Jews killed in the Holocaust were killed after it was clear that the War would not be quickly won and that the NAZIs needed labor to replace German workers conscripted for military service and to expand production. The killing thus was given priority over winning the War.
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